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Sharp Warns That It Might Collapse

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the so-business-is-soft dept.

Businesses 284

angry tapir writes "Japan's Sharp, a major supplier of LCD displays to Apple and other manufacturers, has warned that it may not survive if it can't turn around its business. The Osaka-based manufacturer said there is "material doubt" about its ability to continue operating in its earnings report filed Thursday. Sharp added, however, that it still believes it can cut costs and secure enough credit to survive. Its IGZO technology for mobile displays is likely to be a key element of its business strategy."

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They just need to... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41876901)

Sell their LCD's to apple at a higher cost why should apple be the only one making a premium off the screens?

Re:They just need to... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41876963)

because then Apple tells them to get bent, buys all their displays from someone else and Sharp goes under instantly.

Re:They just need to... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877003)

What does anyone really expect when SHARP sells BS products like the Sharp IG-BC2UB High Density Plasmacluster Ion Generator for Car Use [amazon.com] ?

What does that even mean?

Re:They just need to... (2, Insightful)

isopropanol (1936936) | about 2 years ago | (#41877055)

It's an air filter. Negative ions in the air make smoke particles stick to the (positively charged) filter better. They work better than filters with no ion generator, but not anywhere near as good as not smoking in the first place.

Re:They just need to... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877267)

Ionizers literally drove The Sharper Image into bankruptcy. The Sharper Image produced the Ionic Breeze ionizer which Consumer Reports concluded [quackwatch.org] was "ineffective" as an air cleaner and produced "almost no measurable reduction in airborne particles."

Worse, all ionizing purifiers generate ozone. The EPA states [epa.gov] , "Relatively low amounts [of ozone] can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath, and, throat irritation. Ozone may also worsen chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and compromise the ability of the body to fight respiratory infections".

So in reality not only are ionizers ineffective, they're actually bad for you.

Re:They just need to... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877337)

spoken like a true coward and shill.

Re:They just need to... (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | about 2 years ago | (#41877375)

Yeah, but so is smoking.

Re:They just need to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877595)

Fuck me, you'd better tell all those lightning storms to produce massive amounts of ozone whenever there's a lightning strike.

Re:They just need to... (5, Interesting)

ne0n (884282) | about 2 years ago | (#41877539)

The problem, from Apple's perspective, is that Samsung is the only viable producer of top-quality displays. Only Samsung and LG can produce the volume necessary, and Samsung is openly hostile now that Apple's been trying to bend them over one too many times. So now they're stuck with crap SSDs (Toshiba) and crap IPS panels (LG) unless they pull a rabbit out of the hat. Keeping Sharp afloat with purchasing agreements would be the Microsoft move (a la the investment in Apple, early 90's) but Apple is more likely to buy Sharp and try to keep the entire supply chain in-house. It would take years for this one to bear fruit but, hasn't Apple been patient before? And they've got the cash to build out in a hurry.

They just need to...Buy Apple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877627)

Aside from the fact that Apple doesn't have the needed expertise to run a company like Sharp. Money, nor a need for particular parts confers that expertise. There's also going to be a culture clash between an American company and a Japanese one. Also much like the American government has say so over foreign companies buying locals, the Japanese government has the same power.

Re:They just need to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877545)

who exactly? samsung told them to fuck off, Sony doesn't have enough yield, and LG keeps having quality problems. And don't say buy out a small player and do it themselves, because between a lack of patents and basic engineering, it would take years to get quality up to their levels.

Re:They just need to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877613)

Apple can't. They have already told Samsung to go get bent. If they tell Sharp the same they will have to significantly cut production of devices.

Re:They just need to... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41876989)

Sell their LCD's to apple at a higher cost why should apple be the only one making a premium off the screens?

because of ghetto niggers smoking crack and blaming whitey, that's why

Re:They just need to... (0, Flamebait)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 2 years ago | (#41877005)

You sound like an expert on the subject.

You Priviliged Oppressor (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877105)

You sound like an expert on the subject.

you sound white. so it's all your fault. definitely not mine. all yours.

Re:You Priviliged Oppressor (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877255)

you sound white. so it's all your fault. definitely not mine. all yours.

Ok, we white people who weren't even born when your great great great grandparents
were slaves are going to fix it for you.

The first step is that you all get on trains that take you to a FEMA camp.

There is free crack and lots of fried chicken there, and fresh watermelon every day.

But first before you get the chicken and crack you need to take a shower.

Get the message, blue gum ?

Re:You Priviliged Oppressor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877465)

The horror, the horror

Re:They just need to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877031)

Same price as Apple's 27" display:
Dell UltraSharp U2711 [dell.com]

Re:They just need to... (3, Informative)

elfprince13 (1521333) | about 2 years ago | (#41877365)

And Apple's comes with a webcam, built in 50 watt speaker, Firewire, and GigE connectivity. Not to mention Thunderbolt.

He meant the LCD panel itself. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877455)

Tear open that Apple display, you won't find an Apple logo on the display panel.

Re:He meant the LCD panel itself. (3, Insightful)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 2 years ago | (#41877689)

You won't find a Dell logo inside the Dell display either. What's your point?

Re:He meant the LCD panel itself. (1)

John Bokma (834313) | about 2 years ago | (#41877697)

Yeah, like there's a Dell logo on that U2711 display panel, righty?

Re:They just need to... (1)

redback (15527) | about 2 years ago | (#41877639)

And the same LG panel inside.

Re:They just need to... (1)

dimeglio (456244) | about 2 years ago | (#41877199)

Maybe it's volume? Sharp probably bid for Apple's business like others did. Selling it for more would mean no business at all.

Re:They just need to... (2, Informative)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 years ago | (#41877371)

It’s not volume – it is overcapacity. LCD manufacturing has high fixed costs – that is it is a capital intensive business.

A few years ago everybody built fab plants – and then the economy turned south so people stopped buying large screen TVs. (oversimplied, but.)

So, when there is overproduction one has 2 choices – mothball the entire plant (complete loss) or engage in a brutal wall of price cuts and attrition. The logical choice is price cuts and attrition (well, the logical choice would be to go back in time and not build the plant in the first place, but.)

Re:They just need to... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 2 years ago | (#41877415)

Yup, Sharp built the world's largest in Japan, which started operations in October of 2009, and Sharp is already considering selling it because it sits mostly idle.....

Re:They just need to... (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#41877737)

Now that Samsung needs their own display output there is no other display vendor but Sharp Apple can turn to who can produce the quality of displays Apple needs in the appropriate volume. This will only get worse as other vendors' Android tablets, TVs and Chromebooks compete for this constrained supply. The only appropriate response for Sharp is to increase their prices to Apple and others to all the market will bear. This turns into a huge win for Sharp.

They just need to...Yen & R&D. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877285)

Part of Sharp's problem's are twofold. Their investment in R&D accounts for a lot of their debt. And of course Japans overall problem with the Yen.

Apple buyout? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41876903)

First post w000t!!!

Doesn't sharp current produce the LCD display found in the iPhone 5?

Time for Apple to go for the jugular (3, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | about 2 years ago | (#41876911)

This would be an opportune time for Apple to buy Sharp, re-organize the beast then ramp up displays and other parts for its booming business. If Sharp collapses, Apple will be in trouble - guaranteed.

Re:Time for Apple to go for the jugular (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41876969)

This would be an opportune time for Apple to buy Sharp, re-organize the beast then ramp up displays and other parts for its booming business. If Sharp collapses, Apple will be in trouble - guaranteed.

Right sure, vertical acquisitions, go nuts. What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Time for Apple to go for the jugular (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 2 years ago | (#41877007)

Apple can not buy sharp because Apple's profit margins are way to high, buying Sharp will kill those margins and Apples share price along with it. The problem with Sharp is it kept narrowing down their product base and made itself very vulnerable to fluctuations in sales in it's remaining markets, hence the current problem. It will likely be fine in a few years, still no where near profitable enough for Apple to buy.

Basically they have put themselves up for sale for their manufacturing facilities as a merger with a more solvent and complete electronics company. Optimum partner would be of course Panasonic who invested heavily in unmarketable plasma screens and needs to shift to LCD.

Re:Time for Apple to go for the jugular (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41877053)

It doesn't matter if profit margins go down, as long as profits go up at the same time. Adding another profit base to your business isn't bad just because your margins go down.

Re:Time for Apple to go for the jugular (3, Insightful)

MangoCats (2757129) | about 2 years ago | (#41877113)

It doesn't matter if profit margins go down, as long as profits go up at the same time. Adding another profit base to your business isn't bad just because your margins go down.

You are speaking rationally... perception is what matters in stock valuations, especially a stock as widely held by "enthusiast investors" as AAPL. Part of the valuation perception in AAPL is the unusually high profit margin, merge them with a nice profitable entity like Archer Daniels Midland and it will muck up that crystal clear picture of what makes AAPL such a desirable stock to hold.

Re:Time for Apple to go for the jugular (2)

Kal Zekdor (826142) | about 2 years ago | (#41877283)

It doesn't matter if profit margins go down, as long as profits go up at the same time. Adding another profit base to your business isn't bad just because your margins go down.

You are speaking rationally... perception is what matters in stock valuations, especially a stock as widely held by "enthusiast investors" as AAPL. Part of the valuation perception in AAPL is the unusually high profit margin, merge them with a nice profitable entity like Archer Daniels Midland and it will muck up that crystal clear picture of what makes AAPL such a desirable stock to hold.

Apple could always acquire Sharp through a subsidiary company. That way Apple's profit margins (and hence, stock price) are firewalled from Sharp.

Re:Time for Apple to go for the jugular (1)

RandomFactor (22447) | about 2 years ago | (#41877389)

All else being equal, If you've got 1 billion in the bank, and you get 15% letting it sit there, or by acquiring a company that returns 15%, but instead use it to acquire a new business that returns 7% you just threw away 80Million in year one, and that just compounds over time.

So yes, adding another profit base to your business can easily be quite a terrible idea.

Of course if the company in question is a major supplier of yours, it is entirely possible that all things are not in fact equal.

Re:Time for Apple to go for the jugular (5, Insightful)

isopropanol (1936936) | about 2 years ago | (#41877073)

Vertically integrating one of your main suppliers would probably not reduce profit margins as much as stopping production because you can't get parts.

Exactly, and less reliance on Samsung results! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877463)

And wouldn't that make Apple just so happy.

Sharps market cap is about $3 billion. (1)

voss (52565) | about 2 years ago | (#41877529)

Apple has easily 10 times that in cash on hand and a quarterly profit of 8 billion. If Apple wanted Sharp, the only thing blocking it would be japanese or american regulators. In reality a middle company like Foxconn or one of apples other suppliers would make a better fit.

Re:Time for Apple to go for the jugular (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877091)

Apple will not be in trouble. This is utterly false, just as false as the Too Big To Fail nonsense that was getting passed around. Sure, the restructuring of the supply chain would be problematic but Apple already has suppliers lined up as it is. Apple is going to have more problems with Samsung distancing themselves than they are if Sharp went belly up tomorrow. They just don't supply that much to Apple.

Re:Time for Apple to go for the jugular (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877133)

Can apple manage a manufacturing business? Looking at what the American management did to sony, I doubt it.

Re:Time for Apple to go for the jugular (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | about 2 years ago | (#41877367)

Apple pretty much already manages Foxconn... All the processes are designed and supervised by Apple.

Extract the Chinese child's soul. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877487)

Insert into iPad mini. Call it magical.

Your iPad is made with the tears, sweat and blood of the underclass of China - and someday it'll be made with the tears, sweat and blood of the underclass of South Carolina. Mark my words, we won't always be the consumers of the world.

Re:Time for Apple to go for the jugular (1)

cinereaste (1241082) | about 2 years ago | (#41877515)

Apple pretty much already manages Foxconn... All the processes are designed and supervised by Apple.

Uhm, no. A quick look at the Wikipedia article on Foxconn lists quite a few other major customers and competitors to Apple, such as Amazon and Samsung. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn#Major_customers [wikipedia.org]

Re:Time for Apple to go for the jugular (1)

roidzrus (2739093) | about 2 years ago | (#41877527)

I think he meant to say that they're micromanaging the production of their own products.

Re:Time for Apple to go for the jugular (5, Interesting)

StormReaver (59959) | about 2 years ago | (#41877175)

This would be an opportune time for Apple to buy Sharp....

This would be an even more opportune time for Samsung to buy Sharp.

Re:Time for Apple to go for the jugular (2)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 2 years ago | (#41877231)

I doubt that would happen, historically the Japanese and Koreans haven't exactly been bff....

Re:Time for Apple to go for the jugular (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877577)

Yeah. The Japanese are going to let Koreans take them over. RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT.

Re:Time for Apple to go for the jugular (1)

dimeglio (456244) | about 2 years ago | (#41877217)

Sharp produces commodities. There is no profit in commodities. Apple is unlikely to buy Sharp. It will continue to buy small innovative companies like Siri.

Apple could end those other product lines. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877473)

And keep the divisions relevant to their products. I mean, Jobs did this very thing to Apple itself when he returned.

Do you remember the Apple QuickTake digital camera?

Nor does anyone else.

Re:Apple could end those other product lines. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877625)

I had a QuickTake 150. Noisy fucking piece of shit and not resolutionary at all. Worst. Camera. Ever. Even $2 web cams in the supermarket are better.

Re:Apple could end those other product lines. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877647)

Sharp is a Japanese company, if you think an American company will be able to walk into their market and buy a company with the intension of stripping it down to only what they need you are dreaming, if they let them buy it at all it will come with a whole load of provisions requiring them to maintain it. This simply will not happen. Either the company needs to find a Japanese buyer or they need to make the harsh cuts and realignments themselves before being sold. Either way is bad news for apple. Only real way for Apple here is probably to help support them financially with prepayments or large orders as Apple are up shit creek if sharp go down.

Not so Sharp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41876913)

Bet big on the wrong screens

SHARP AND AAPL: SHE IS A GOING DOWN MY CAPTAIN !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41876927)

http://chart.finance.yahoo.com/z?s=AAPL&t=3m&q=l&l=off&z=l&a=v&p=s&lang=en-US&region=US [yahoo.com]
  [romney_wants_to_buy_your_vote.com]

From over $700 per share not even two months ago to heading under $477 per share today !! How the rich and shiny fall so fast !! It's a taking Sharp, The Jap Conglomerate, with it !!

Re:SHARP AND AAPL: SHE IS A GOING DOWN MY CAPTAIN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41876941)

So how many shares have you shorted since you're so convinced of this?

Re:SHARP AND AAPL: SHE IS A GOING DOWN MY CAPTAIN (4, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#41877015)

The 24-month chart is probably more informative [yahoo.com] than your 3-month chart. I realize it kind of spoils your intended narrative, though.

Like any stock, Apple's shares have seen significant corrections before - especially in the modern market.

Short all around - shorting stock, shorter vision (0)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41877085)

Apple's stock constantly hovers around a 13-14 P/E.

So what happens next quarter when Apple has had yet another 27-40% growth spurt, fueled by a large number of new products recently released?

The stock all along has been drug along by the combination of inexorable growth and the inevitability of the stock having to rise to keep up with the profits that Apple is actually making.

BTW, Amazon's stock has a P/E of 3000 (!).

So mull that over before you decide to short.

Basically the only people not buying AAPL are people who lack any vision.

Re:Short all around - shorting stock, shorter visi (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877153)

Basically the only people not buying AAPL are people who lack any vision.

When I hear that said about a stock, I'm inclined to research shorting it.

Re:Short all around - shorting stock, shorter visi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877735)

When I see people shorting a stock because they read a comment on slashdot.......

Re:Short all around - shorting stock, shorter visi (1)

dimeglio (456244) | about 2 years ago | (#41877229)

And those who are taking a profit. AAPL generally follows the market but when it's bearish, it tends to go down slightly more than average.

mandatory knife pun (-1)

drwho (4190) | about 2 years ago | (#41876983)

It was walking on the blade of a knife, and then slipped.

Maybe not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Seppu-ku requires sharp blades.

What else? please add.

Maybe Samsung dumped Apple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41876987)

Sharp is probably suffering from the prices they agreed to with Apple. It can fun throwing your weight around but it has limits.

Name one Apple product that uses Sharp LCDs (0)

guidryp (702488) | about 2 years ago | (#41877001)

... major supplier of LCD displays to Apple ...

Really, which LCD displays do they supply to Apple? LG and Samsung are major suppliers, I can't remember the last time I saw an LCD in an Apple product wasn't LG/Sharp.

Perhaps if Sharp actually was a major supplier they wouldn't be in quite so close to bankruptcy.

Re:Name one Apple product that uses Sharp LCDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877061)

Perhaps you're using one and that would explain your proofreading failure

Re:Name one Apple product that uses Sharp LCDs (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 2 years ago | (#41877071)

... major supplier of LCD displays to Apple ...

Really, which LCD displays do they supply to Apple? LG and Samsung are major suppliers, I can't remember the last time I saw an LCD in an Apple product wasn't LG/Sharp.

Perhaps if Sharp actually was a major supplier they wouldn't be in quite so close to bankruptcy.

I guess you meant to say "LG/Samsung" in that second sentence, not LG/Sharp.

From what I've heard, the new iPad Mini uses Sharp screens.

Re:Name one Apple product that uses Sharp LCDs (1)

guidryp (702488) | about 2 years ago | (#41877637)

That was the rumor, the only thing anyone has seen in a Mini, is a Samsung display. Which wasn't part of the Rumor.

Yeah, that was a typo, I meant to say Samsung/LG.

Re:Name one Apple product that uses Sharp LCDs (1)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | about 2 years ago | (#41877111)

Re:Name one Apple product that uses Sharp LCDs (1)

guidryp (702488) | about 2 years ago | (#41877693)

That isn't evidence. They are just repeating the rumor, much like the rumor for iPad mini, where Samsung was out, and Sharp was in.

But when they dissected a Mini, it had a Samsung screen. So much for rumors.

There is also one other problem. Sharp doesn't build IPS screens. LG and Samsung do (though Samsung calls it PLS).

Sharp is heavily invested ASV technology which is a VA offshoot with inferior viewing angles.

I have yet to see any evidence that Sharp screens are used in any of Apple products.

Re:Name one Apple product that uses Sharp LCDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877139)

iPhone 5.

Apple are trying to move away from Samsung (2)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | about 2 years ago | (#41877143)

Really, which LCD displays do they supply to Apple?

Apple tried to diversify their supply chain away from Samsung. Sharp are amongst those who made the retina displays for the iPhone 5 (and the mini Ipad)

This would be a really good time for Samsung to put the boot in. Interesting to see if they do anything.

Lacking clarity (1, Interesting)

Adammil2000 (797026) | about 2 years ago | (#41877017)

Coincidentally, we laughed at the store yesterday noticing that the only fuzzy displays were the Sharp ones in comparison to the others. Can they be so ignorant of their product quality issues?

Re:Lacking clarity (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 years ago | (#41877119)

How did you know it was a Sharp LCD? How did you check?

Re:Lacking clarity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877187)

And if you were any kind of a smart consumer you would know that the showroom displays are never calibrated correctly... Many times they are adjusted based on what else they are trying to sell.. (eg: monster cables vs regular cables, hdmi vs component, LED vs LCD, 3D vs anything else)..

Re:Lacking clarity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877649)

LED vs LCD

If you were any kind of smart consumer I guess you would have said LED vs CCFL, as in backlight technologies. There's no such thing as LED displays for consumer-grade monitors and screens, only OLED displays for mobile phones and some hand-held gaming equipment.

Re:Lacking clarity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877291)

Ive noticed sharp have the best LCD quality. altho Its priced out of the market :(-

Ive often seen department stores playing low res SD content on SHARP TV's and blurays on the Samsungs.

Re:Lacking clarity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877707)

Not surprising. Other manufacturers, such as Panasonic, encourage sales of their products by giving holidays and other prizes to the highest-selling salespeople. It's not markup that keeps your manufacturing company afloat, it's sales volume.

Re:Lacking clarity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877699)

Store displays are notorious for being configured to make whatever gives them the best profits and commissions look the best. Not saying Sharp are good displays, but NEVER base your opinions of LCD or plasma screens on what you see in a store. There are plenty of non biased sites that can provide accurate information.

Re:Lacking clarity (5, Informative)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#41877709)

Stores often calibrate displays according to what they are currently trying to push. using tricks such as lower res vs high res video, warm colours and poor calibration to guide you to what they want you to buy. Always check online before browsing displays for real agnostic reviews.

well (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | about 2 years ago | (#41877137)

that's dull

Great products, poor marketing (4, Informative)

guises (2423402) | about 2 years ago | (#41877169)

My impression of Sharp may be anachronistic, I don't know if the company is still what it used to be, but I think of them as manufacturing really terrific products, particularly portable electronics (remember these? [wikipedia.org] ), but hardly selling them or anything at all outside of Japan. Even within Japan I guess their marketing wasn't so good. Sorta the anti-Apple - poor marketing, but great and often pretty open products.

Re:Great products, poor marketing (1)

Tim99 (984437) | about 2 years ago | (#41877411)

Because I am nearly as old as dirt, I think of them making the Ever-Sharp mechanical pencil and electronic calculators during the 1960s-1970s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharp_Corporation [wikipedia.org]

Re:Great products, poor marketing (2)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 2 years ago | (#41877451)

Well a big part of the problem is that Sharp didn't anticipate the effect that smartphones would have on the portable electronic market.... They made some really cool gadgets but as smartphones continue to encroach on the functionality of these gadgets, many are questioning the wisdom of spending extra money and carrying extra gadgets when their smartphone can do 95+% of what said gadgets can do....
And of course Sharp was really late to the game with Android smartphones, and their offerings(while having really nice screens) are pretty meh imo.

Japan's Big 3 TV Makers Struggling (4, Informative)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#41877177)

The #3 television manufacturer in the world, Sony, announced on Friday [ft.com] it's cutting its medium-term TV sales goals in half.

Four days earlier, #5 Panasonic (Matsushita) announced [ft.com] it's cutting its flatscreen TV production in half.

Sharp is ranked #4. Apparently all three of the Japanese manufacturers bet too big on TVs and are getting trounced by Korean rivals Samsung (#1) and LG (#2).

Re:Japan's Big 3 TV Makers Struggling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877287)

>and LG (#2).

Surprising. I've never thought of LG as a maker of well designed, quality products. The smartphones I've seen from them, for example, are crappy.

Re:Japan's Big 3 TV Makers Struggling (1)

v1 (525388) | about 2 years ago | (#41877323)

This is probably because a lot of consumers have figured out that the TV they have is fine and they don't need a new one. Since they just got done buying one recently, the manufacturers seem to think that the buying trend will just continue to climb. It's a bubble, and it's popping.

There's just very little profit to be made selling TVs nowadays. Everyone that wanted a large TV *has* one by now, and there's nothing really that new that will encourage them to replace what they have. Prices have been driven down so far now that it's hard to turn a buck.

Re:Japan's Big 3 TV Makers Struggling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877565)

That's where planned obsolescence is coming into play though, and people don't have money to buy a new TV every 10 month when the economy sucks.

Re:Japan's Big 3 TV Makers Struggling (5, Insightful)

RubberDogBone (851604) | about 2 years ago | (#41877501)

The Korean brands have a lot of awareness right now, thanks in part to Apple basically standing Samsung up and saying "we're scared of Samsung!" which really added both brand awareness and boosted their reputation -which was nothing to sneeze at anyway.

Samsung has worked very hard to kill Sony. For a long time, that was their main mission: effing bury Sony. The only problem is that they've overshot the goal by making better products more or less across the board, and also that Sony has flopped in nearly every business unit. Samsung now sets the trends in phones and TVs, does very well with tablets, and has decent exposure in regular consumer electronics like pocket cameras and other items. Sony can only hope to follow. Aside from the PlayStation brand, Sony leads.... nowhere. In the future, Samsung is only going to become an even tougher company. They play to win. If iconic Japanese brands die along the way, that's absolutely fine with Samsung.

LG, after changing their name, embarked on putting appliances in lots of homes. That's a great way to make entire families aware of your brand: it's the fridge, the washing machine, and also the TV. And it's a brand with great peer acceptance. Your neighbors know LG and probably think it's a fine brand.

Both of these brands make good products for the most part. The neat part is that they both fight like hell to beat each other. So not only are they stomping on Panasonic and Sony, they are also trying to beat each other. This puts tremendous pressure on everybody else in the game. If you are Sony, you don't have one opponent or even two, you have closer to three or four because as much as Samsung and LG are bitter rivals, they have the same enemies and they will fight as one very tough force. If you are Sony, you don't just have to beat Samsung, you also have to beat LG AND you have to beat both of them combined which is intense enough to be its own entity.

After them, the Japanese brands are kind of lumped in with the no-name Chinese brands. Panasonic and Sony can't easily compete on price with the likes of Vizio or Sceptre, or the new Chinese-licensed brands like JVC, Magnavox or Philips. China hasn't stopped their own brands but they have realized they can just license some old brand name like JVC, play off the name and market what would otherwise be a noname product as a brand product.

TVs went through a phase where flat screens were a premium product, and at the high end yes they still are. But the low end is dominated by cheap TVs. Heck, you can get a 32-32" LCD TV at drug stores now, same as in the old days when a 12" B/W TV sold at drug stores. China will own that end of the market moving to the middle. Korea owns the top end -with Pioneer in for honorable mention on the high end. Everybody else needs to put on some knee pads and brace for impact. The middle market is going to get squeezed like an Oreo double-stuff left out in the sun.

Re:Japan's Big 3 TV Makers Struggling (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877711)

Samsung and especially LG are K-trash. The only Japanese company that makes anything close to their absolute uninspired shittiness is Sanyo.

Sharp has always made the best LCDs around.

Is this important? (0)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 2 years ago | (#41877195)

I'm not sure I understand the relevance to tech or geeks.

Sharp's position is entirely determined by the choices they make or have made. If they make bad decisions, their business will suffer and if they make good ones their business will prosper.

Unlike tech-oriented political news or tech-oriented situation reports ("such-and-so has a 0-day exploit"), we have no influence over the outcome. Our collective outrage can inform and influence political positions (maybe), and our judgement and expertise can influence technical decisions ("they never fixed the problem"), but can we really influence business decisions?

There are other LCD manufacturers, right? Does this even affect us?

Sharp might collapse? Um... OK, got it. Next article.

Re:Is this important? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877315)

Agreed! I'd think slashdotters would be far more interested in knowing about the formal recommendation within the Federal Trade Commission to sue Google over anti-trust violations in its FRAND patent licensing practices.

Re:Is this important? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877335)

Most moronic clueless post ive ever read on Slashdot.

Can you safely bet your entire saving/assets on a currency years in advance knowing its going to go up or down in a big way? Well if the yen hadnt risen to such heights you wouldn't be reading about all these giant Japanese corporations now being in trouble.

Also a lot of people may not be aware but sharp actually produce some of the best LCD's with the best picture quality. but most wouldn't know it. It would be a crying shame if Sharp went under.

Is this important?-Yes Virginia it is! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877343)

Why is it every time slashdot has a story, there's always one questioning why the story is even posted here? Here I'll do the research you didn't. Sharp makes a lot of electronics that is sold to other companies to brand under their names. Two Sharp makes electronic components that also go into a lot of products. There absence would be a big hole for awhile.

Re:Is this important? (1)

godrik (1287354) | about 2 years ago | (#41877409)

I still feel like it is important to know for me. It gives an idea of the current shape of the market: "sharp is being eaten".

Re:Is this important? (3, Interesting)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#41877729)

There are very few large scale LCD manufacturers. Arguably the 2 biggest names are Sharp and Samsung, Apple are actively pushing away from Samsung and looking to Sharp so it would be very nasty for apple. The collapse of Sharp would have a big impact on who makes your tablet, smartphone and television screens in future and potentially the market prices of those devices as shortages or lack of competition will potentially affect prices.

Testing the waters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877297)

Checking to see if SHARP can also jump on the "too big to fail" free money bandwagon. Isn't it fun when failure has no consequences?

Flat Panel TVs have become Cheap (2)

Streetlight (1102081) | about 2 years ago | (#41877307)

Flat Panel TVs have become pretty cheap and with all the added functions and reliability, everybody who wants one or more may already have them. I have a Sharp Aquos which has an estimated 60,000 hours of liftetime. It's great, by the way. At 8 hours per day, that's about 20 years of use. And, as I said, everyone who wants or needs one or more of these things already has them, there's not much of a market. I've seen prices for 50 +" Samsungs or Sharps for $1,200 - $1,500 at Costco. It seems that Sony has already given up on flat panels even though they are supposed to be pretty good, maybe the best. Not to advocate an illegal pricing structure, it does seem like the producers have to increase prices.

Re:Flat Panel TVs have become Cheap (1)

Comen (321331) | about 2 years ago | (#41877587)

I have two Sharp Aquos TV's a 65" and a 46" and both have been great TV's, it would be sad to see them fall I think.

translation is (partially) to be blamed (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877481)

http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2012/11/05/sharp-statement-lost-in-translation/?mod=WSJBlog

Capitalist fail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41877573)

anyone expect any other result, who gets stuck with the bankruptcy bill.

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